- heat-shock proteins
Families of proteins conserved through pro- and eukaryotic cells, induced in cells as a result of a variety of environmental stresses, though some are constitutively expressed. Some serve to stabilize proteins in abnormal configurations, play a role in folding and unfolding of proteins and the assembly of oligomeric complexes, and may act as chaperonins. Hsp90 complexes with inactive steroid hormone receptor and is displaced upon ligand binding. Four major subclasses are recognized: hsp90, hsp70, hsp60 and small hsps. Hsps have been suggested to act as major immunogens in many infections.
Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.